Game One Hundred Forty-Eight: Cubs (59-88) vs. Reds (72-74)
Game Time – 1:20pm C.T. Comcast Sports Net, WGN Radio, XM Radio Channel 188
Location – Wrigley Field, Chicago
Juan Mateo (1-3, 4.75) vs. Bronson Arroyo (13-9, 3.29)
When the season started the Cubs were predicted by some to be in the middle of the Wild Card race in September and the Reds to be at the bottom of the Central Division….well 5 months later the two teams fortunes have gone in opposite directions. The Reds are the team battling to make the post season and the Cubs are the team playing out the string. The Reds are 4 1/2 back of the Padres for the Wild Card and just 5 1/2 back of the Cardinals. The Reds just dropped 2 of 3 to the Padres at home and will be looking to right the ship today at Wrigley. The past 2 seasons the Reds have ended the Cubs playoff hopes and it would be a good lift for a young team to repay the favor. Bronson Arroyo has been a big lift to the Reds this season, he made the All-Star team and has pitched better than anyone would have expected after arriving from Boston just before the start of the season. Arroyo has beaten the Cubs 3 times this season, in 3 games has given up just 6 runs in 20 2/3 innings (2.61 ERA) on 17 hits, he hit 2 home runs off of Glendon Rusch and dominated the Cubs in 2 of those starts, 1 earned run in 14 innings. Arroyo also has stepped up when his team has needed him the most; in his last 3 starts he is 3-0 with a 1.50 ERA. The Cubs will have their hands full against a pitcher they have struggled with all season.
Juan Mateo rebounded after 2 short outings against the Pirates and put the Cubs in position to beat the Braves in Atlanta last Sunday. Mateo gave up just 2 runs on 5 hits in 6 innings; he walked 2 and struck out 6. He has been throwing strikes as of late and in his last 10 innings of work he has walked only 2 and struck out 13. Mateo has never faced the Reds and the key for him and the Cubs will be to keep Ryan Freel off the bases and keep the Reds potent offense in the yard. The Reds love hitting at Wrigley.
Let’s Talk Cubbies Baseball….